PASADENA (CBSLA) — A man alleged beaten bloody by Pasadena police last November is speaking out tonight.
Chris Bellew, 22, spoke to CBS2/KCAL9’s Jeff Nguyen.
Bellew says vivid memories came rushing back after he saw photos of his bloody face and broken leg for the first time during his interview with Nguyen.
The incident stems from a violent arrest involving Pasadena Police Officers Lerry Esparza and Zachary Lujan.
The arrest was captured on multiple cameras last November following a traffic stop. Bellew’s car was missing a front license plate and his windows were tinted dark.
He’s seen struggling with the officers over a police baton. Bellew says he was never the aggressor and he was just trying to keep the officers from hitting him.
In a recently amended lawsuit, Bellew claims the police reports are inconsistent with the videos.
For instance, Esparza wrote: “Officer Lujan and I were able to use his momentum and pushed him to the ground, inadvertently causing his face to hit the cement.”
But the suit says Officer Lujan deliberately smashed Bellew’s face into the asphalt.
“I feel as though the video speaks for itself,” Bellew said, “I’m not the type of person to push ideas on anyone. The truth is the truth is the truth is the truth.”
Civil rights attorney John Burton says his client was hit with strikes that were potentially lethal.
“So the number of blows. The location of the blows are all misstated on the police report,” said Burton.
The City of Pasadena sent CBS2/KCAL9 a written statement saying:
“We owe it to our residents and our public servants to thoroughly review the incident. It would not serve the public interest to engage in a back and forth in the media as a substitute for that review.”
Bellew was booked for assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer but the District Attorney declined to prosecute.
“I feel the police in general are acting as though they are the most powerful people in the country. They could basically do whatever they want. And to an extent that’s true and that needs to change,” Bellew said.